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tv   Road to the White House  CSPAN  March 3, 2014 1:00am-1:25am EST

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today, five out of six afghans believe that women should have an education. this is an indication that the kind of changes we have seen are likely to despite all these improvements, afghanistan remains one of the poorest, least developed lands on earth. it is also one of the more theent, but by no means most violent. despite its ethnic, religious and linguistic visions, there is no ethnic cleansing going on in afghanistan and no purely sectarian violence. but there is an ongoing insurgency. it is conducted by those who would seek to reverse much of the progress of which i have spoken. these advances thus remain quite fragile.
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a recent congressionally mandated study by the center for naval analysis finds that afghan security forces require not just external funding, but continued international military training, advice, and assistance for several more years if they are to sustain themselves against andtaliban insurgency maintain control over the major population centers. this is consistent with the administration's own analysis and that of our alliance partners. this is why we have negotiated a bilateral security agreement, and why nato is negotiating its own status of forces agreement. our intention was to have concluded the bilateral security agreement last fall, to have announced our intended 2015 troop commitment shortly thereafter, and to spend 2014 working with our nato allies on the disposition and functioning of this new force. unfortunately, president karzai 's decision not to sign the
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thatd that he negotiated, he is in fact not seeking to change, and that he agrees it is important for afghanistan, has thrown this timetable badly off. on tuesday, president obama told president karzai that he is open to waiting until later this year to conclude the esa, if necessary. if necessary.ebsa while we continue to plan for a residual force to assist the afghan security forces, and to conduct limited counterterrorism mission, the scale of this commission may wane as uncertainty over our welcome persists. we will also need to plan for the alternative of full withdrawal. there are those who foresee a repetition in afghanistan with our experience in iraq of three years ago, when a similar uncertainty led to complete withdrawal.
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afghanistan is different from iraq in a number of respects. back in 2001, the iraqis did not want us, they did not need us, and we had signed an agreement several years earlier promising to leave. no iraqifigure, political figure was ready to continuedickly for a american military presence. it rock had plenty of its own iraq had plenty of its own money. the united states was committed to removing its troops -- removing its troops by the end of 2011. afghanistan is different in all of these respects. the afghans want us to stay. they need us to stay, and we signed an agreement two years ago committing us to a long-term security partnership. even president karzai repeatedly acknowledges the importance of a
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bilateral security agreement for afghanistan, and nearly all --er afghan leaders have indeed, it is not much of an exaggeration to say that only -- the only prominent afghan to speak out against a bilateral security agreement has been mola omar -- mullah omar. since 2011, iraq has seen a slow increase in terrorist violence, but it rock was not then -- but iraq was not yet in the midst of an all-out civil war. by contrast, in the absence of a continued train to advise and assist, afghan has descended into -- afghans dissent into violence is bound to be more
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rapid. the continued need for american support let the governments to agree on a partnership plan for 2012. order to lay the groundwork for that aspect of our partnership. mostnk we all know that americans are tired of the afghan conflict and believe that the results have not justified the cost. but most americans also recognize the need to withdraw gradually and responsibly. americans say the war was not worth fighting, according to a recent abc washington post poll. still favor keeping some u.s. forces there for training and for counterterrorism purposes. this margin of support is an narrowed.as
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president obama's decision to leave open the possibility of concluding the necessary agreement with a willing partner later this year provides hope that this all can still be worked out. that is despite president karzai's refusal to include the agreement now. but i am afraid that this delay -- couldll move costly still prove costly. thank you. [applause] >> today, the american-israel public affairs committee or ai pac begins its annual conference in washington dc. we will hear from senator john mccain starting live at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span. later in the afternoon on life -- our live coverage continues with secretary of state john kerry and new york senator john schumer, beginning at 5:00 p.m.
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eastern on c-span three. >> next, the future of u.s.-afghanistan relations. speakers include former special representative for afghanistan marc grossman. this is hosted by the u.s. institute of peace. this panel is one hour and 10 minutes. welcome on behalf of u.s. ip. i would like to thank all of you for coming, and our distinguished guests. we also want to thank our panelists for this first panel which is titled "the united states and afghanistan, the longview. view.the long -- the longview." given policy relations of late,
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there is lots of focus on the security transition and the upcoming political transition in 2014 in particular. i do think in terms of the current discourse in washington, talking about life beyond 2014 is taking a long view. i think that one of the objectives for today is to try to look at future relations between the u.s. and pakistan beyond 2014. there is a longer-term interest in this relationship. i think it is also important that we have a balanced and realistic view in this relationship. that was -- just what we heard from ambassador dobbins, talking about many of the gains, but acknowledging that there are very real challenges. i am hoping that all the media here today do not just focus on the challenges, but also focus on some of the tremendous gains. i think that is one of the real challenges.
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i remember working in 2002-2005n from heading a policy research organization. in those days i would come to gatherings like this in washington and talk about research findings which tended to suggest that everything was not going quite as well as some of the public narrative was. after all, afghanistan was the war.work -- good i was often labeled the naysayer. everyone else said that the steady drip drip of negative news coming out of afghanistan -- irying to highlight think ambassador dobbins gave a long list of the incredible achievements that have taken place.
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having worked in afghanistan in -- in80 loss and 1990's the 1980's and 1990's, it is incredible what we have achieved. today's problems -- i will take today's problems any day. i hope this comes out loud and clear in this discussion. i do think that a lot of the negativity of late does stem from the very difficult and negotiations that have taken place caret i think that has been again what has dominated a lot of the press coverage and a lot of the discouragement. i think they have been -- the vast majority of internationals and experts working in afghanistan that i know certainly think the bilateral security agreement is
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really in the interest of afghanistan as well as the interest of the u.s. and the international community, that it is essential for increasing the prospects for stable and peaceful ash for a stable and peaceful future. the majority of afghans also feel that. i do think -- i'm hoping that todayf this discussion will focus on the importance of a. weelationship beyond bs are fortunate to have a distinguished panel of experts with us today. we deliberately decided prominent american and international officials and experts working on afghanistan. to talk about importance, again, the challenges, but also the opportunities of long-term engagement in afghanistan, with the hope that this will be transmitted we have lots of media here today.
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coverage today will also be broadcast back into thatnistan so they do here there are prominent voices speaking on behalf of the of the more enduring partnership and engagement in afghanistan. let me quickly introduce our panelists. i think there is more detailed data outside. withll start off ambassador marc grossman, who is currently the vice chair of the cowen group. he is a distinguished 20 year career in the state department, serving as the u.s. ambassador to turkey, assistant secretary of state for european affairs. from 2001 until his retirement in 2005, he served as the undersecretary of state for political affairs, which is the state department's third-highest position. ambassador grossman was encouraged to come back out of retirement to take on the
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assignment of the u.s. special representative for afghanistan 2012akistan from 2011 two 2012 -- fromtwo 2011-2012. she went on to spend several years living in afghanistan as an advisor to the you and and afghan government where she worked on numerous initiatives, including the national solidarity program. of "fixingco-author failed states. " has served since 2002, also focusing on afghanistan. 2013, he has served
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as the secretary of defense for afghanistan, pakistan and central asia with the assistant secretary of self-defense. prior to this he was deputy assistant secretary of defense for east asia, and then he also served as the dcm at the u.s. embassy in beijing. and last, but not least, it is a pleasure to welcome back an old friend and former u.s. ip colleague. from june 2010 to june 2013, alex thier served for afghanistan and pakistan affairs. before joining u.s. aa, he served here at u.s. ip is a
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senior advisor and director for afghanistan and pakistan from -- for 2005 and 2010. from 2002 to 2004, he served as an advisor in kabul and also in the 1990's worked in afghanistan for the you and -- . r the un with that i will turn it over to you, mr. grossman. then we will have some time for question and answers. >> thank you very much. let me say thanks to all the organizers of this event and what an honor it is to be on this panel.
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having served as a special representative, i know what this is about. if you will allow me to honor the people from the united states of america, from the international forces military, civilian, and are afghan colleagues. we thank you very much. you gavei were saying this keynote address. andrew asked if i would talk about reconciliation, elections, and a very important topic, the politics of the future relationship between afghanistan and pakistan. before i do, i wanted to step back for just a moment and make three points and ask one question. it is relevant to the entire conversation we will have today. , it has been emphasized in the film we saw in the speech we heard, it is
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really important whenever we talk about afghanistan, to stop for a moment and recognize what has been achieved. just what has been achieved, but what has been achieved at such great cost on the part of afghans and the united states military and civilian, and of course our international partners as well. it is a matter not just of highlighting and not forgetting what has been achieved, but very lines in support of the afghan people. we want to try to put it back in the consciousness of the american people. i know that when i signed up to support the asap, -- the u.s. eight -- the u.s. ip, it was important to keep it on the agenda. it is part of the international debate. is that therethat is a larger context here as we
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talk about afghanistan. one of the things we forget. there is also the fact that afghanistan sits in this extremely important region. when the administration talks about a secure state and prosperous afghanistan inside of a secure and prosperous region, it is a really important thing. you have this conference about afghanistan, but let's not forget its neighbors, whether those be the central asian states, pakistan, india, and all of the others that are very important for american interests. the third point is that in the year or so that i have not had the responsibility of being the special representative, thinking through some of these issues, i have come deeply to believe that afghans will fight for what has 2003.chieved here since that is the question of the economy. women, elections, politics,
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media. afghans will fight for these things. that is one of the reasons you see the success increasingly on -- i think afghans will fight. is do we have the patience and courage to support them in their fight? is not our fight, but it is their fight. i say that understanding the frustrations that mr. dobbins and others have with the challenge right now of president karzai not signing the the position the administration has taken is clear. it needs to be signed as quickly as possible. there is patience to wait and see if in the future there might be a signature or you can see that clearly in the conclusion of the nato defense ministers yesterday and today. that is about the best position we can be in. there remains a possibility of
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america and international forces in afghanistan on january 1, 2015. we ought to have the patience and the courage to support them in their fight. asked if i would talk about reconciliation. esther dobbins and i share this responsibility. the job i was given for the two years that i was special representative and continues, is to see if it were possible for the united states of america to open the door for afghans to talk to other afghans about the future of afghanistan. when i think about reconciliation today, i come back to two principles. number one is the one that i just mentioned. there's only one reason for the usa to be involved in this, and that is to open the door for afghans to discuss with other afghans the future of their own country. i am sure that remains an effort of the special representative of
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afghanistan and pakistan. the effort to move this peace process forward remains extremely important. i think the secretary clinton, , both of saidy this war will not end until there's some way to see if reconciliation is possible. there is a second principle as well, which is, i always felt in -- inme ahead district the time had this responsibility, this idea that if you favor reconciliation is another reason to be in favor of . it is a verya important reason to be in favor of can you -- of continued support for afghan national security forces.
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are watching carefully how we work our way through these next few months to decide if there'd -- if there will be any pressure. the effect of the military is still really important. the third point seems to me that as you look back, it makes you isnk about it very carefully the end conditions. what is this reconciliation all about? that is about an afghanistan that lives with the rule of law and an afghanistan that supports the rights and responsibilities for all citizens, but particularly women. i think the questions of reconciliation are sure high on the administration's agenda, but the principles remain the same. you asked me to talk about elections. i think ambassador dobbins has done a wonderful job with that. i say two things are important
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to me. one is the outcome. it is an election that is seen by most afghans as legitimate. their next leader is someone they can say here is someone we can support going forward. secondly, to emphasize the point that professor dobbins made, it is important to keep repeating that the usa has no favorites this. candidates in the afghan election is fully for the people of afghanistan. they will choose their future leaders. the politics of this future relationship with afghanistan? again, if you consider this from an american perspective, i will leave afghans to speak for themselves, i think there needs now to be a lot of thinking about how to structure the future of this relationship. i give you for thoughts. first, as dobbins said any
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number of other -- a number of others have said, the first really important thing is that nothing that comes from -- the willingness of afghanistan to work with united states. we have to recognize the sacrifices what americans have made. now, if you speak on afghanistan around the country, one of the things that you hear is that we would like to have somebody say thank you to us for what has happened there. for afghans, that is something i hope they will put on their checklist, to make a contribution to this future relationship. second, i go back to the question of the region. i think for americans to continue to be interested in afghanistan, is to put it into a regional context. this is not only about afghanistan. america has larger interests in central asia and the
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